And Now a Word From Our Sponsor is an Insipid Comedy


This insipid, fraudulent Canadian comedy smells like a 30-year-old screenplay somebody found in the CAA commissary under a short chair leg. Its barely skitworthy premise finds burnt-out ad agency founder Adan (Bruce Greenwood) all of a sudden speaking solely in TV commercial catchphrases. For ridiculous, mercifully mumbled reasons, Karen, the ad man’s old student (played by Parker Posey) agrees to take him in for a week until a bed opens up in a nearby institution—fish gotta swim, and movie clocks gotta tick. Never mind that sanitariums rarely wait-list patients rich enough to endow them, and that idealists like this guy tend not to last 20 years in advertising. Soon Adan is monopolizing the single television in Karen’s otherwise luxurious house while her sullen teenage daughter keens, “My show is on!”—as if a television program were still some sort of appointment, and missing one episode would mean waiting months to see it again. Of course, it’s not the movie’s fault if Michael Hamilton-Wright’s original script antedates the world we live in. Uninspired director Zack Bernbaum has much worse to answer for: the criminal squandering of Greenwood, once so wonderfully skeevy in The Sweet Hereafter and slippery on St. Elsewhere, and of Posey, whose screwball timing and vulpine jawline are now haunting a second generation of smart boys’ dreams. You feel for these co-stars, but it’s the only genuine feeling the picture affords. The dialogue is unspeakable, the scenes unplayable, the waste of talent unpardonable.